Dispelling the 90% Canard

Since when do 90% of Americans agree on anything?  Yet somehow, a push poll stat has wormed its way into the debate over firearms.

The problem with polls are that you can force a desired outcome from them. And both sides of any debate are capable doing such a thing.

However, this particular CBS News/New York Times Poll has garnered attention because it has been oft repeated by the President and many others trying limit our 2nd Amendment rights.

So, what did this poll consist of? The only question asked of 1110 adults nationwide was:

Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?

That’s it. No nuance; just an answer in search of a question.

So, for the record, we do have the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It was signed into law over 19 years ago. It “requires that background checks be conducted on individuals before a firearm may be purchased from a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer…”  It also established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (aka NICS).

The only exception to this federal rule is private sales of firearms. That is, if I wanted to sell my privately, legally owned firearm to anyone else legally elligible to own a firearm. If I suspect or know that someone cannot legally posess one (like my neighbor with multiple felonies), I am prohibited from selling it to them.  If unlawful activity were to occur as a result of that individual obtaining that firearm, it would inevitably point back to me, and I would face federal charges. Some states, themselves, prohibit private sales without background checks.

I think its safe to assume that the majority of Americans gun owners are responsible, and feel their government should trust their discression when it comes to private sales.  Or, perhaps they don’t desire to pay a premium for a brand-new firearm from a dealer. So, they seek out folks they know in their community, or someone they can establish trust with, to purchase the type/make/model of firearm the desire for less than they’d pay at a formal dealer.  And, again, the majority of Americans feel they should be treated as adults to make these decisions.

To that end, what the poll DIDN’T ask was…

 “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all sales, including private sales of guns (aka private property) ?”

I think we would be seeing some different results with this improved wording. So, I think we can speculate that the pollsters in question knew that such a phrasing would not obtain them the results they wanted.  I mean, hell, I’d have a difficult time saying “no”… though in the back of my mind I would immediately question, “do they mean private sales, as well?”

Follow-up questions, encapsulating the consequences of such action, would have shaped a different outcome, as well. Questions about filling out a 4473 or other FFL-type paperwork and paying a small ransom just to file and verify said information through NICS. These are the kinds of things that most folks oppose.

If there was a way to check, leave zero paper-trail/footprints, and cap costs to what the transaction of information actually costs (few dollars at best), I think you might find more support.  However, you’d have to do something to overcome the current level of distrust you, the politicians, this tact has exacerbated.

Worse, though, was the language of the Machin-Toomey bill. I’ll let Professor Volokh explain.  For TL;DR types…

The result of the disparity is “pro-gun” provisions which are actually very strong anti-gun provisions: The supposed ban on federal firearms registration authorizes federal gun registration. The supposed strengthening of FOPA’s interstate transportation protection exempts two of the worst states (the reason why FOPA was needed in the first place), and provides any easy path for every other abusive state to make FOPA inapplicable.

Anyway, folks ought to stop throwing this figure around. It’s not remotely representative, the response was decidedly shaped by the question, and as a result, when many hear it mentioned, they tune out.  It’s a subtle way of saying, “I’m not prepared to work with you on our rights”.


Tony Posawatz, Fisker CEO, waxes on clean tech and… gun control?

Tony Posawatz, CEO of nearly defunct, taxpayer-funded Fisker (who is telling congress they may be filing for bankruptcy), is shown in a brief clip talking to Alan Murray at the 2013 ECO:nomics conference. Tony talks about adoption of new technology, market penetration, and, “hey, well, we made something”

“I won’t get political on anyone here today, but if the gun industry was as regulated as my industry, we’d have a lot less issues, if you will.”

Wait, what? Someone who can scarcely manage the production of an over-priced, sometimes-running electric car has the nerve to make an non-sequitur aside at firearms?

If anything, the largest difference is one of privilege (vehicles, driving), and constitutional rights (2nd Amendment). And second, by that logic, certain urban centers in this great nation of ours should be an oasis of low-crime (looking at you DC, Chicago, Philly, NYC).

I’m not discounting further efforts that we ought to make to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill, but it’s sad to see yet another smart individual equate more laws with less crime.

Busy year…

Foggy-Sunrise_-Seattle-Skyline-_-Mt_-Rainier8197075467337321062Infrequent posting due to work, family (just had our 4th!), and life. Twitter is tempting, but I miss the long form.

I know a lot of folks feel on edge based on current events and our administration’s various agendas. But please hang in there; the fight for our 2nd Amendment (and other) rights won’t be going away any time soon.

No matter who is in power, individual liberty will always stand athwart big government.

[Incidentally, I’ve published some older posts from last year, and even January, that I just didn’t feel up to throwing out there during and after a revolting election season. I re-evaluated them and felt they should be there. Obvioiusly, these issues have been long sorted out, or are still in the process.]

Heads Need to Roll for Gunwalking

This is a little old (Nov 7th) in the context of our 24hr news cycle, but is well said and bears repeating.  From HotAir

The idea that we need to regulate the wider population more tightly in order to prevent catastrophically moronic operations by the feds gives me a warm glow deep in my libertarian heart. And I do mean catastrophic: Watch this new clip from ace CBS reporter Sharyl Atkisson updating the death toll from gunwalking. It’s not just Brian Terry.

[Original CBS Video]
CBS Video on their YouTube channel:

Then, Mr. Holder tried to manipulate increasingly negative press coverage by deploying a calculated document drop (Oct 31st), on the eve of Lanny Breuer’s testimony, of information investigators asked for in September.  “Bush did it first,” was the headline the select outlets ran with.  That’s what Holder’s dept. wanted, but it’s not accurate.

Let’s be clear, Operation Wide Receiver was not like Operation Fast & Furious (emphasis mine)…

In a controlled delivery firearms case, guns are traced in the sense that agents closely and physically follow them — they don’t just note the serial numbers or other identifying markers. The agents are thus able to trace the precise path of the guns from, say, American dealers to straw purchasers to Mexican buyers.

To the contrary, Fast & Furious involved uncontrolled deliveries — of thousands of weapons. It was an utterly heedless program in which the feds allowed these guns to be sold to straw purchasers — often leaning on reluctant gun dealers to make the sales. The straw purchasers were not followed by close physical surveillance; they were freely permitted to bulk transfer the guns to, among others, Mexican drug gangs and other violent criminals — with no agents on hand to swoop in, make arrests, and grab the firearms. The inevitable result of this was that the guns have been used (and will continue to be used) in many crimes, including the murder of Brian Terry, a U.S. border patrol agent.

In sum, the Fast & Furious idea of “trace” is that, after violent crimes occur in Mexico, we can trace any guns the Mexican police are lucky enough to seize back to the sales to U.S. straw purchasers … who should never have been allowed to transfer them (or even buy them) in the first place…

Ace sums it up well

Holder’s attempt is to claim that “Bush did it,” so the fact that the GOP is only asking about Holder proves this is all a partisan smear. Well, Bush didn’t do it, actually, and further, the GOP was asking about the Bush era programs too.

So: Holder implicitly claims he can’t release documents because they’re too confidential, but then decides on his own to give them to the press when he thinks it might help them?

Or: Holder ignores a constitutional, lawful demand for information, but then releases information on his own initiative to bail his corrupt, Marc Rich pardon-purchasing ass out?

Either way. It’s hard to say why Holder refused to comply, because he doesn’t offer reasons — he just ignores the requests entirely.

There was no government-to-government coordination like in Operation Wide Receiver, and there may have been something far more sinister at play here than just a botched Federal operation… the resuscitation of nationwide gun control.

Recall, in 2009, the administration’s, and especially Hilary’s, preoccupation with false figures in regards to US firearms in Mexico?  Funny sense of timing wasn’t it?  Read it all:

…from the beginning the scheme was to pad statistics on U.S. guns in Mexico in order to be in a strengthened position to call for gun bans and strict gun control at a time when it was politically unpopular. Further, the scheme would involve a made-up statistic, out of thin air–90%–which then had to be proved by using civilian gun retailers along the southern border as unsuspecting pawns to walk U.S. guns into Mexico by ATF agents, straw purchasers, and others with connections to Mexican drug cartels.

And the evidence points to the fact that Hillary Clinton was one of the original Administration officials who was ‘in the loop’ on the scheme from the very beginning.

It’s a pity that investigators are limiting their scope (for now) to the DOJ.  This may never get back up the chain to President Obama; seldom does.  However, we know this administration’s attitude toward the 2nd Amendment, owners of firearms, and the nation’s (legal, responsible) gun culture.  The President, frankly, doesn’t need to say anything… his people know his goals and shared them from the beginning.

As for Sec Clinton, we know how Clintons feel about so-called, erroneously named  “assault weapons” and the lengths they’ve gone to ban them in the past.  We just didn’t expect them to start arming criminal organizations with them on purpose as means to that end.

God willing, more heads at all levels will roll on this… it’s the least we can do for the victims of this government-created chaos.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

As popularized here by Mark Twain, the saying goes, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

And the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) are a prime example in this latest report

WASHINGTON — Nearly half of the guns that crossed state lines and were used in crimes in 2009 were sold in just 10 states, according to a report being released Monday by a mayors’ group.

Forty-nine percent of those guns were sold in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California or Arizona.

Wait a minute, let’s look at that list of states again:

Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California and Arizona…

California – #1 state by population – Leans BLUE
Texas – #2 state by population – Leans RED
Florida – #4 state by population – PURPLE
Pennsylvania – #6 state by population – Leans BLUE
Ohio – #7 state by population – PURPLE
Georgia – #9 state by population – Leans RED
North Carolina – #10 state by population – Leans RED

  • These seven states alone have a population of approximately 124 million people.
  • The entire list has a population of 145 million people.
  • With a population of 307 million (US estimate 2009)…

…that means these 10 states on the list has 47% of the population.

This is a great example of torturing numbers long and hard enough to force the confession you want to hear.  Forty-seven percent (47%) of the population in the United States lives in 10 states, and 49% of the illegal guns purchased come from that 47% of the population.

There is no real story here.

This isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue in this case either as there are blue, red, and states that straddle political lines.

No kidding, MAIG?  Ten (10) states in the Union are responsible for 49% of the guns, and 47% of the population happens to live in those 10 states?


This month’s attack on the Second Amendment is brought to you by….

At the beginning of August, five eco-mentalist organization submitted a petition to the EPA, requesting a ban on all lead-based ammunition, claiming, “the use of traditional ammunition by hunters is inconsistent with the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976.”

The petitioners to the EPA included American Bird Conservancy, the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Association of Avian Veterinarians and, Project Gutpile.

Grass-roots and industry backlash was rallied by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (a trade association), and a few days later the NRA weighed in.

After spending a few weeks re-discovering its level of authority, the petition was denied and the EPA’s response is here.

Dave Workman, Seattle Examiner Gun Rights columnist, has an excellent write-up on this month-long issue… the best bit is this (emphasis mine):

The NRA did the right thing.  It reminded the EPA that the law — you know, that’s the thing environmentalists draw like a gun when they want to force people to do something — does not allow what those same environmentalists were trying to do.  The NRA didn’t make anybody “surrender.”  The NRA merely insisted that the statute be followed.

Hunters and others involved in shooting sports are among the top conservationists in the land.  We want game animals and the rest of the environment to thrive so that the same enjoyment can be had for the next generation and many after.  And through gaming licenses/fees, excise taxes, fund-raising efforts by many different conservation groups, and personal responsibility, we put our money where we run our mouth.

Personally, I wasn’t too worried, as such a ban would have been a considerable overreach.  However, if there’s one thing this current administration will be remembered for, it is its penchant for just that sort of thing.

Another sociopath takes a dirt nap

The victim could have been any unarmed citizen in California; unfortunately for this SOB it was an off-duty cop that was — fortunately — carrying concealed… one dirt nap coming right up!
[Shaun Adam] Vilan, who was on parole after spending six years in state prison for two assaults, had a lengthy history of ganging up on people and attacking them, according to court records. His convictions included two unprovoked assaults in 1996 and 1998, which involve Vilan smashing two people in the face with beer bottles.
…And on and on and on (more incidents listed in the article).

Shaun, I hope you and Jesus had it all worked out.